General Question

beccalynnx's avatar

Have you ever put the "wrong" city/town name on a mailing address?

Asked by beccalynnx (459 points ) June 15th, 2010

If you lived in, say, a tiny suburb of a large city, and replaced the small town name with the name of the big city in a mailing address, would it still get mailed and processed correctly?

I’d like to use the big city name instead mainly for security reasons. I own my own small business, but use my home address for shipping. I don’t want to use the suburb name as it’s tiny, and I’m a little paranoid about creepy stalkers.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

20 Answers

Jeruba's avatar

Try mailing something to yourself that way, with correct ZIP code, and see what happens. Omit a return address. Try it with an envelope and also with a small package.

An alternative is to use a post office box address or a proxy mailer for your return address.

JLeslie's avatar

You will probably get it, but it will take a little longer, and cause more work for the post people. Best would be if you use the 9 digit zip code to help the postal people along. That way it should at least get to the correct main post office closest to you.

beccalynnx's avatar

I’ve just looked up my +4 ZIp code, and will use that. will that really help all that much?

Jeruba's avatar

If you narrow it down with a ZIP+4, anyone who wants to find out what town you’re really in can just look it up. Maybe you should take a P.O. box in the nearest town larger than yours.

JLeslie's avatar

@beccalynnx It should help. Why not get a post box one town over?

beccalynnx's avatar

I’m considering getting a P.O. box soon. I’d be too expensive to do so right now.
Hmm.. i may just use my town name… i still feel a little funny about it. plus, using the big city name makes me feel like a big city life girl :)

JLeslie's avatar

What exactly are you worried about? I am pretty paranoid, and I don’t get why you are worried about security?

beccalynnx's avatar

I do all of my business online, so nobody even needs to know my small hometown. I’d just rather now put it on there, I guess?

JLeslie's avatar

Do you have a friend you could send it to in the meantime, until you get a PO box? Have you ever googgled your name? Your town might come up anyway.

beccalynnx's avatar

Good points. I guess it really doesn’t help my sense of security knowing that all the other info in my address still leads to my home, no matter what city I include.

JLeslie's avatar

I’m not trying to be critical.. Always good to be careful. Like I said I tend to be paranoid about things like this, but I have never been worried about receiving mail. Maybe you will get me started. LOL.

beccalynnx's avatar

oops! I hope not! hehe.
i don’t know how it started, but i’m strangely paranoid over the oddest things lately…

beccalynnx's avatar

and Thanks, btw! :)

MissA's avatar

If you use the correct zip code, it will always get there.You don’t have to use the +4 digits.

Jeruba's avatar

But @MissA, it will give away her town, and that’s what she’s trying to avoid.

When the city and ZIP don’t match, are you saying they always go by the ZIP and ignore the city?

JLeslie's avatar

I think they use the zip for all sorting, and then if it is not being found they start to analyze what city was written, and then the street? I’m not exactly sure how it works. If she put the correct zip the post office might have to put their thinking caps on a little more to get it to the receiver. My 5 digit zip is shared by two towns. If I use my correct zip I feel confident my letter would get right to me even if I used the big city I live near. My post office for my zip would recognize my street name.

But, let’s see what @MissA says, I think she might know more, I am just sort of guessing.

MissA's avatar

@Jeruba Yes, I understood that. It is my understanding that they use the zip and not the city. A couple of trial mailings, addressing that way, would be the best idea.

beccalynnx's avatar

Oh, my real city itself is split into three different 5digit ZIPs. I’m pretty sure the Zip gives away a lot of information.

I think i’ll do some experimenting. time to buy stamps.

JLeslie's avatar

But, I just want to say again, that I think it is a little abusive of the postal system. When letters are not addressed properly it costs them time to figure out the correct address. And, time is money.

Response moderated (Spam)

Answer this question

Login

or

Join

to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
or
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther